Two men have been fined after their botched attempt to castrate two bulls with cable ties and rubber bands in a service station car park.
John Thompson and Anthony Green have been ordered to pay over $4000 each after their attempt left the two animals in severe pain, and one euthuanised.
The incident happened in September 2020, after Thompson sold two bulls to Green, who both agreed they would be castrated prior to delivery.
This did not happen and on the exchange day, Thompson loaded the two bulls into a trailer and drove them to a service station in Paengaroa, in the Bay of Plenty.
Green followed in another vehicle.
While there, Thompson bought two cable ties and some thick rubber bands and applied the rubber bands around the testes of the bulls before putting a cable tie over top to hold them in place.
He didn’t use anaesthetic and Thompson later told SPCA Inspectors that he’d never performed a castration before.
“He said that he was not happy with the procedure as he was performing it, but believed that it would be successful.”
The SPCA was alerted to the welfare of Green’s two bulls about six weeks later.
An Inspector and veterinarian attended and said it was immediately clear the bulls were suffering from a severe infection, due to the black and red appearance of the area where the bands were placed and a putrid smell that could be sensed from some distance away.
The bulls were sedated and their testes were surgically removed.
The vet said due to the incorrect method used for castration, the testes had swelled to two to three times their normal size and had developed severe infections including gangrene and sepsis, which would have caused undue pain and distress.
Green told the SPCA Inspector he didn’t believe anything was wrong with the animals.
“He was waiting until eight weeks after the castration attempt to see if the testes would fall off, as Thomson had told him they would.”
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said the improper way the procedure was carried out was inhumane and totally avoidable.
“It never ceases to amaze me how some people don’t seem to understand that animals feel pain just like we do, and in this case, the bulls would have felt severe pain for many days after.
“With no anaesthetic, these animals would have suffered immediate pain throughout the procedure and as incorrect tools were used, including rubber bands and cable ties, the animals would have felt that pain for days afterwards.”
Both men were sentenced in the Tauranga District Court, Thompson pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 for castrating a cattle beast that was over 6 months of age without pain relief.
Green pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to ensure the animals received treatment that alleviated any unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress being suffered.
Both men were fined $3900 each, payable to SPCA, and ordered to pay reparations of $904.95 and $300 towards SPCA’s legal fees.